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May 31, 2017

Adam Scott

Dublin, Ohio

DOUG MILNE: We'd like to welcome Adam Scott into the interview room here at the Memorial Tournament. Thanks for joining us for a few minutes, making your tenth start at the Memorial. So just a few comments on being back here at Muirfield Village this week.

ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, it's nice to be back. I've played a lot of good golf around here and have some fond memories of those rounds. For whatever reason I haven't been here for a couple of years, which feels strange.

So I'm really excited to be here. It's an event I'd dearly love to win. And the game is coming into a nice bit of form, so I'm excited about this week and getting things going. And it's a good time of year to put your foot down for the FedExCup, major season, World Golf events and big events like this one. So I'm feeling good about things.

DOUG MILNE: You mentioned feeling good about things. This is your first start back since THE PLAYERS Championship, a strong finish there. Is there anything in particular you're most comfortable with or feeling most confident about as you're coming into the week?

ADAM SCOTT: I just felt my game was shaping up all around really nicely at The PLAYERS, and on the weekend in some pretty tough conditions I played some really solid golf. And it felt like I wanted to go on and play the next week, you know trying to take advantage of the game coming around. But I had to stay patient and went away for a couple of weeks and managed and practiced and didn't fiddle around with it too much.

And it feels pretty good coming in here. I like where it's at. Trying to keep the big picture in mind, obviously wanting to play well at the majors. And this has been my plan all year, kind of play in the majors.

I did all right at the Masters, and I count the PLAYERS as a tournament to focus on, and I had a good result there. And so far so good, and I'd like to build on that momentum.

Q. When you refer to this as a big event, why do you think it's a big event? What goes into what you describe as a big event?
ADAM SCOTT: I think lots of things. You have to first put Jack Nicklaus number one on that list and what he's put into this game, firstly. And then everything he's put in here in, trying to challenge us, trying to make it a big event. Certainly, there are feelings of small things similar to the Masters here, which obviously has been very special to him in his career.

And the crowds are amazing here. What they put back in to make the venue better and better for everybody, I feel that makes it a big event. And the golf course is great, as well. I really like this golf course. It suits me. That ticks my box.

Q. Secondly, if you had an emotional skill as a player and you put someone like Billy Horschel here and maybe a Dustin Johnson as an example of the other very extremely low extreme, where would you put you and why?
ADAM SCOTT: Probably nearer to Dustin than Billy because I play fairly calm, I think, out there. But I'm certainly not afraid to show a little emotion at a big moment if it all pans out the right way. And burying my anger if it doesn't pan out the right way. So maybe nearer to Dustin.

Q. (No microphone.)
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I think I behaved fairly poorly in my early days as a pro, behaved more like a junior golfer. Juniors like to throw a few clubs and swear.

And I eventually matured after a few years and realized it was not doing me any good carrying on for three or four holes after a bad shot and figured out that I need to get on with it. But I do believe that it is good -- if it really is frustrating, it is good to let it out, however that is. Different people do it in different ways, I guess.

Q. You've been coming here for a long time. How have you seen this tournament change, evolve over the years? Jack talked yesterday about the possibility of working on the PGA of America, and things could change in the future. Where do you see this tournament going in the future?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, I mean, I don't really know. Like I said, they're fortunate here, they've had so much support from everyone, I believe, including the members of the club and putting so much money back into the tournament. It's obvious to see with the way the buildings are around the 18th hole and extensions to the clubhouse. Attracting the Presidents Cup here requires a lot of infrastructure, so a lot has gone back into it.

A lot of work on the course has been done to make it relevant to Tour golf. I don't know where they see it going, but probably wherever they want it to is the answer. And generally making a lot of good decisions.

Q. You mentioned the golf course, you really like it. What is it about this track and this place that you like so much? And the second part to it, the 11th hole is extremely eye catching. What do you think of the 11th hole?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I like the fact it's fairly generous off the tees here. That's nice for me. I don't hit the most fairways on the PGA Tour, so I get a little bit more room. There is a premium hitting into the greens then, and that is one of my strong suits. So when you're on and you can put it in under the hole, and that's important, because the greens are so fast. So getting some realistic looks at birdie, even though you might hit it 15 feet from the hole, if it's above or below the hole makes a difference how you putt over here, and get some momentum going, and have stress free golf.

It can be stressful having to work at pars outside ten feet. It can get away from you. So I really like the strategy that comes into it. Certainly you have to be fairly precise into the greens.

The 11th hole is beautiful. Stood there at the tee shot -- when my tee ball finished today, looking up into the green and it's just beautifully framed hole, really inviting. I noticed they've lost some branches off trees on the right to kind of get everyone going for a bit more, maybe with 3-woods or something like that, because the trees were getting a bit tall to hit over. So it's pretty inviting and it looks really nice. It's a great hole.

Q. Greg Norman is going to be honored today. What are your thoughts on that and maybe a favorite story from childhood of what he meant to you?
ADAM SCOTT: Nice to see that Greg is being honored here. It's a nice tradition that they have here at this club to do that. And obviously from what I've been told and what I've read, Greg and Jack had a fairly close relationship from early days in Greg's career. So I'm sure that will be really nice for the both of them today.

I have a million stories about watching Greg, growing up as a kid, playing. He was the guy carrying golf for my whole childhood, anyway, at least in Australia. But being No. 1 in the world, he did a pretty good job everywhere else, as well. He was an inspiration to a whole generation of kids in Australia. I've been really lucky to spend a lot of time with my childhood hero and learn from him about how to carry myself as a professional in victory and defeat. And also about little bits and pieces of the game, as well.

So it's been an amazing story for me, looking up to him so much as a kid and then being able to call him a friend now.

Q. Can you share one specific story?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, a nice story for me was playing a practice round with him at Augusta, the first year that I qualified. It was looking like it might be the last year he was qualified. And so we played a practice round.

And on the 11th, it gets pretty slow around there. And he sent -- Tony Navarro was caddying for him at the time, he sent him off to pick up some sandwiches from the concession stand. We sat at the bank of the pond by the green and eight the sandwich, and he was just really building me up.

He's like, "Your game is really good. You can do this this week. You're playing well. There's no reason you shouldn't have a really good week."

That was a really nice moment because it was all very calm down there and gave me a lot of confidence for the week, and that's something that I remember that was pretty special.

Q. Where were you on Monday when you heard about the news regarding Tiger and what was your reaction?
ADAM SCOTT: I think I was in Sweden. And, yeah, just surprised and I guess a bit saddened to see that. I don't think we should all -- I don't know all the details about it, but hopefully it's not a worse problem than it is.

Q. Have you gone and visited Erin Hills yet?
ADAM SCOTT: No, I haven't. I'm going next week.

Q. So you're going before you play? I'm wondering, in the past you've gone on big reconnaissance missions. So you're doing two in a row, how do you feel that's going to work for you?
ADAM SCOTT: Hopefully very well (laughter).

I mean I've planned it out. I'm playing a lot of golf from now to the end of the U.S. Open, hopefully. And I think I'm focused.

Dustin played three weeks in a row last year. I remember I watched him play well here, and I saw him at Oakmont after here, and I saw him playing really well at Memphis and then he won the U.S. Open.

So I'm going for that kind of mojo the next few weeks. And hopefully a couple of looks next week will break up the three tournaments in a row and feeling a bit flat playing -- what I'm trying to get at is it's going to be a short week in Memphis next week. And just the Pro Am and the golf. I'll go in and play, hopefully have a good week and take a lot of -- take a bit of knowledge to Erin Hills before I get there. That's the goal.

Q. Talked briefly about Dustin, and of course last year he finished the U.S. Open under sort of this cloud of doubt as to what was going to happen to him. And he was able to execute down the stretch. My question to you is just, have you ever had an experience like that, that tested your concentration? And if you did, how did you get through it? What is the secret to staying focused on the golf course, whatever the distractions are, be they on the golf course or injuries or something with your family, whatever it is?
ADAM SCOTT: I mean, no, I've never really had anything like that. That was about as extreme as it gets to not know what score you are for the last six holes of the U.S. Open when you're leading. Just unbelievable how that all panned out.

But, of course, I've had moments where through no fault of my own my concentration has been broken and strange thoughts have come into mind. What should I do about this situation. It's difficult because we get a little robotic out there, I guess. And if something out of the blue happens, you have to be prepared for it, even though it doesn't happen very often, crazy things like that.

It is, it's just a test of your mental strength doesn't being able to refocus, I think is a big part of it, whether it's on a huge level like that or whether it's a little refocusing, switching on and switching off. It's a part of that mental side of the game that I think you have to develop and get good at, just like every other -- all the physical aspects of the game. The mental side has to be worked on, as well.

Q. Did anybody help you as far as your approach to it?
ADAM SCOTT: Not really, but working with Butch for a long time, Butch -- although he's not a psychologist, he certainly had a lot to say about how to play out on the golf course and mentally switching on and switch off. And obviously used Tiger as an example a lot.

And that's just kind of evolved through my own experiences and bits and pieces from different people, whether it's a line out of a Bob Rotella book or I worked with Josh for a couple of weeks early on in Europe, just taking little bits from here and there and letting them evolve and see what works for me.

Q. Trying to figure out what it's like to go into the Masters when there's so much anticipation for seven months, and especially the month and a half leading into it compared with now where you're coming up to the next major but you've got two more -- month after month after month. How does that change the outlook, if it does, at all?
ADAM SCOTT: I think the anticipation is huge going into the Masters and then it's just -- we're just in major season from that point, even though there is a little bit of a gap from the Masters and U.S. Open. It's a very major season now, so you're just doing what you can to be ready every week. Whereas the Masters is a bit more unknown, maybe, because they seem closer together. It seems like you can plan and predict what's going to happen after the Masters. And the Masters is the unknown. You're trying to do everything right so long to be ready for it. And you're not sure. But now you know what you've done at the Masters. It's a little easier going into the next major. And then I think it will be easy going into the next one because it's so close together.

Q. Secondly, Phil said last week that he's not going up to Erin Hills at all until Monday, which is very unusual for him. You, on the other hand, have changed up this year to play the week before every major. Is there any secret formula after your years on Tour? Does it really just come down to how you're putting that week, to sort of simplify it?
ADAM SCOTT: You can overthink it, absolutely. I think the golf courses are set up so difficult for us, especially at a U.S. Open, that you've just got to do whatever you can to feel comfortable out there. And if that's going in blind and being unaware of all the problems out there and just dealing with it when it happens, then that can work, if you're putting good.

But if you're -- if you go and play nine practice rounds at Erin Hills, you might hit it in every bit of trouble in that nine rounds, then you've got to block that out because you know where all of it is.

I just think we've got to have some level of comfort teeing off Thursday in a major. No matter how you're playing, you know a way to get it around this golf course and be competitive.

For a lot of years I'd spend a fair bit of time playing the course, and that was my way of getting comfortable. Ideally I'd like to be able to play these courses without a yardage book and just know in this wind off the tee it's a 3-iron today. And if it turns around into me, it will be a 3-wood tomorrow. Like you're playing your home club. That's comfortable to me. That's the kind of level I'm looking for.

Probably not going to get that with two looks at Erin Hills next week, but hopefully it's better than none.

Q. (No microphone.)
ADAM SCOTT: I could off the tee. But I'm not so good at eyeballing it into the green. I meant more off the tee without a yardage book.

DOUG MILNE: Adam, we appreciate your time, as always. Best of luck this week.

ADAM SCOTT: Thank you.

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